Omnichannel Personalization for eCommerce – A Modern Approach
How do eCommerce enterprises earn loyalty from their users? Simply by offering them an engaging and delightful experience. And, notably, one of the most popular means to delight eCommerce users is personalization.
However, for eCommerce enterprises, personalization has been largely limited to their websites. Moreover, website personalization itself is mostly segment-based and not implemented at a 1:1 scale.
To achieve remarkable customer loyalty and engagement rates, it is imperative for eCommerce brands to provide a highly personalized experience to users across all touchpoints.
This post illustrates how a modern eCommerce enterprise can facilitate omnichannel personalization at a 1:1 scale for users across multiple channels.
It highlights ways in which an eCommerce brand can create engaging communication over website, email, mobile, online advertisements, and so on.
The behavior of each user on your eCommerce website tells you a lot about their personality; their actions on the website define their interests and preferences.
With the knowledge of users’ interests, your eCommerce website can present relevant products in front of them. That’s where Amazon is so effective—35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from its personalized recommendation engine.
The recommendation engine of Amazon and other eCommerce giants is based on sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. The personalization engine works on deep learning, which tracks a user’s browsing behavior and search queries, and gradually understands what they are likely to search/buy on the website.
Similarly, a few eCommerce brands take advantage of collaborative filtering by offering users recommendations based on the behavior of other users similar to them. Amazon, again, practices this:
The same intelligence can even be extended to promotional campaigns by eCommerce brands. New users can be offered discount for their first purchase, and returning customers can be offered interesting loyalty programs.
All this can be achieved using Boomtrain’s advanced AI-powered marketing engine. (Here is a quick demo video that shows how it works.)
eCommerce brands which are looking to just start with personalization can begin with a basic approach. This approach can be considered more of customization than personalization. It involves asking users to define their interests and preference at the start of an interaction.
For instance, eCommerce websites could present different product categories to users on homepage and ask them to choose the ones they’d like to explore or buy. This way, you can track users that browse specific products and recommend them items from similar categories.
Email marketing has consistently been one of the most popular channels for companies to communicate with customers. It has evolved with time, undergoing various technological advancements.
Personalization in email marketing, similarly, has come a long way—it’s no longer about just adding a user’s first name in the email greeting. Today, emails too can be personalized at a 1:1 scale.
Broadcast (Bulk) Emails
eCommerce brands regularly send bulk emails to their users, promoting products on their website. The emails could either contain promotional offers or simply a list of products based on the likings of users.
eCommerce brands using AI-powered marketing engine already have the knowledge of each user’s interests and behavior. They can send broadcast/bulk emails to users with highly-personalized product recommendations.
For instance, an eCommerce company selling electronic goods could send a bulk email to all users, except each user will receive recommended gadgets that he/she is interested in.
The subject line of bulk emails also can be personalized by mentioning recommended products/categories for users.
Furthermore, a smart marketing platform can let you learn about the time when each user likes to engage with your emails. The marketing platform, next, sends out broadcast emails at a time when a person is most likely to engage. (In Boomtrain, this feature is known as Prime Time Messaging.)
Hence, the email content and its delivery time, both, are personalized for every user.
eCommerce brands can send emails triggered by certain user activity or behavior. These emails can again be personalized for better engagement.
For instance, when users abandon a cart, you can send them an email offering a discount. The quantity of discount could be personalized for each user based on their history of interaction with you.
Similarly, you could send users an email whenever there is a price drop on their favorite items. Here is an example:
Mobile is, arguably, the most important channel for eCommerce companies to engage with users. Reports suggest that, by 2020, mobile will be contributing 45% of total US eCommerce market.
To capture the attention of millennials, eCommerce enterprises require offering a personalized and seamless experience on mobile. They can use a central AI-powered marketing automation system to track activities and behavior of users on mobile, and combine it with their behavior across other channels (such as website and email). This will enable an eCommerce enterprise to truly build a graph for each user’s personality and serve them only the most relevant and personalized content.
With the AI-powered marketing platform, eCommerce companies can personalize the mobile experience for users on the same lines as website personalization. Users can find recommended products right below their thumb:
Mobile push has proved to be an effective channel for brands to engage with users. Brands have already witnessed higher open rates compared to email and other channels. Understandably, eCommerce enterprises are actively using the push channel to woo users.
However, the mobile push channel also requires personalization for higher user engagement.
Similar to email (as discussed previously), push notifications can be sent out as broadcast (bulk) or triggered.
Broadcast Push Notifications
Broadcast push notifications can carry personalized recommendations for users, which encourage them to visit app or website on mobile and complete a purchase.
The personalized product recommendations will be generated for each individual using the AI engine.
Triggered Push Notifications
These push notifications will be triggered by certain defined behavior of users on website or mobile. The behavior can be a complex sequence of user activities.
The content of the push notification can further be personalized using the AI engine.
Here is an example:
Personalization is an effective way for eCommerce enterprises to delight their customers and increase purchases. However, personalization can be most effective only when you implement it across all your marketing channels in a seamless manner. Your website, email campaigns, mobile app, push notifications, and every other channel should offer a personalized experience to users, and conversions will start to grow.